The Alternative Augustan Age, 13-16 October 2016

The Alternative Augustan Age

Villa Vergiliana, Cuma, Italy

13-16 October 2016

In his essay on provincial perspectives in the Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, Greg Woolf asked ‘how we might write the history differently if we did not start from Rome and the first emperor’. He proceeds to look at the geopolitical trends that were in place and continued, despite the chaos and upheavals at the center. It is harder to do when one considers contexts where Augustus’ ‘voltus adfulsit populo’ (Horace Odes 4.5) with most intensity, but this does not mean we should not try. How did aristocrats define themselves in the post-civil war era? How did families celebrate their own histories? How did law develop? Can we isolate the contributions of individuals to the history of their times despite the domination of the lux Augusti over our sources and the subsequent historical record?

This conference will provide the opportunity to explore the Augustan Age with the focus off Augustus. We welcome papers on such topics as:

  • the aspirations and achievements of important individuals such as Plancus, Livia, or Maecenas and also of larger groups such as equestrians or freed slaves
  • ways in which writers of law, distributers of land, authors of history, biography, and scholarship looked backwards as well as forwards and sideways for inspiration
  • dynamics of change in the city of Rome and Italy underway before the advent of Augustus that contributed to the making of the principate

Abstracts should be 500 words maximum, for 30-minute papers to be delivered in English. The deadline for submission is 1 March 2016. Abstracts and also any questions on the conference should be sent to the two organizers, Kathryn Welch, University of Sydney ( and Josiah Osgood, Georgetown University (